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During your time exploring the depths of social media, you may have stumbled upon an angry Twitter user or two besmirching teenagers for uploading lame vape tricks to Snapchat and inadvertently developing a nicotine addiction. Some people may think Juuls and giant e-cigarette clouds are lame, but vaporization technology has had a much different effect on the adult-use cannabis world.

There's no shortage of reasons why vape pen mania has taken over the legal weed market. They offer a discreet and convenient way to get high, can be transported nearly anywhere, and tend to pack a more potent punch than raw cannabis flower. This hype isn't just hearsay. A report by BDS Analytic and Arcview Market Research projected that prefilled vape cartridges made up 58% of concentrate spending in 2018.  

But much like the typical entry-level stoner evolution from one-hitter to bong, there comes a time in cannabis lovers' lives when they feel the need to take their vape game to the next level. If you're feeling dissatisfied with a cheap vape pen battery and iffy pre-filled oil cartridges, here are some ways to improve your vaporizer experience and get the most out of your weed sesh.  

1. Upgrade Your Hardware

Think of your basic, cheap vape pen as if it were a flip phone from the good old days. It's simple, able to offer basic functions, but it also lacks the innovative features that smartphones, or in this case, a more advanced vaporizer, have to offer.   

By upgrading your vape device to a technologically superior alternative, you can stay ahead of the curve. A wide range of portable vaporizers, such as the FlowerMate Hybrid X or PAX 3, are compatible with both flower and concentrate, giving you the ability to know exactly what you're consuming, and what's cooler than knowledge? Upgrading your vape can also make the process more versatile and controllable.

 

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Some devices, such as the PAX 3, are also equipped with smart features that bolster the overall user experience. Instead of just using a blinking light to indicate when your battery is dead, the PAX 3 communicates more information through LEDs, displaying the heating status, battery life, and temperature settings of the device. There's also a smartphone app that gives users precise control over temperatures, making it easier to achieve specific flavor profiles from your selected cannabis product.

2. Customize Your Vape Pen's Design

Like your smartphone or wallet, it's probably hard to imagine leaving home without your vape pen. Considering your vape pen is a significant part of your daily routine, you should strive to personalize it the same way you would with a smartphone case.

Wrap your vape pen up in a psychedelic or marijuana-themed battery wrap to distinguish it from the dull metallic silver of most stock vape pen batteries. For 510-threaded vape pen batteries, which are compatible with most pre-filled vape cartridges, you can find vape wraps that scream personality throughout the internet, including select Etsy stores. If you want to purchase a new vape pen kit that's already decked out with a sweet decal, check out the wide variety of decorative 510 threaded batteries that online retailers, such as StayLit Design, has to offer.  

 

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There are wraps and vape skins available in all sorts of colors, patterns, and textures, allowing you to reflect your own personality in your device. Not only will these skins help your vape pen stand out, but they also can help cover up any scratches or blemishes that your battery might have incurred through constant use.

3. Find the Good Stuff

You might have heard a lot of warnings about counterfeit vape cartridges. Even some of the industry's most notable brands, such as Heavy Hitters and Kingpen, have had to combat counterfeits that feature similar branding, logos, and packaging. Before you purchase or consume a vape cartridge, check the manufacturer's website to check if it provides a protocol to check for authenticity.  

But if you live in an adult-use state, it's easy to source top-notch product by searching for vape cartridges produced by reputable brands and have a certificate of analysis, preferably provided by a third-party testing lab.

Some vape cartridges contain cuttings agents, such as propylene glycol (PG), vegetable glycerin (VG), and polyethylene glycol (PEG), to enhance the intensity of the vapor cloud and overall mouthfeel of the vapors. While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has labeled these cutting agents as safe for human ingestion, there's not much research on what happens when these chemicals are vaporized and inhaled.

If you want to avoid cartridges with cutting agents, browse for products that only contain all-natural, full spectrum cannabis plant oil — no additives included.   

4. Know the Potential Benefits

There's no denying that we need more research into the long-term health effects of vaping, but there is already existing evidence that suggests vaping cannabis is a less harmful alternative to smoking.

One study, published in the Harm Reduction Journal in 2007, found that vaping could decrease respiratory symptoms in regular cannabis users who smoke. Cannabis users seem to concur with the sentiment that vaporization is less harmful than smoking. A survey conducted in 2014 found that marijuana users perceived vaporizers as providing harm reduction and other benefits.  

For those who value potency, there's another argument to be made for vape pens producing more potent highs. A November 2018 study, published in Substance Use and Addiction, found that vaporized cannabis produced stronger “dose-orderly drug effects” than smoking. In other words, the same amount of THC delivered a more potent punch when consumed through a vaporizer.

If your goal is to get high, reason dictates that vaping cannabis is more economical than smoking, since it takes a lesser amount to feel the effects of THC. But remember, this potency could also make you susceptible to overuse.

Another study, published in 2009 in the journal Inhalation Toxicology, suggests that the lower temperature for vaporization, which ranges between 180 to 190 degrees Celsius (356 to 374 degrees Fahrenheit), greatly enhances the ratio of cannabis byproducts compared with the much higher smoking temperature. By vaping raw flower or a full-spectrum concentrate, you can ensure that you're receiving more than just THC, but also the other cannabinoids and terpenes from the cannabis strain.   

5. Always Keep a Spare Battery With You

Nothing kills the vibe of a sesh like a blinking vape pen. Your battery is dead, my guy.

You can lighten the mood by pulling out a fully charged spare vape pen battery in the nick of time. When you think about it, there's really no reason not to carry an extra battery with you. They can be purchased for a low price, they're easy to transport, and can be left charging while you whittle down the battery juice of your primary pen.

For extended trips away from home, we'd also recommend safely packing an extra vape cartridge of cannabis oil to bring along with you, if possible. As vape pen veterans know, these fragile cartridges can break easily, leaving you with a sticky pocketful of oil and no cannabis to consume.           

Feature image by Gina Coleman/Weedmaps News

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